A gap-toothed smile can be absolutely darling — if you’re less than seven years old. Otherwise, a missing tooth negatively affects your appearance – causing your mouth to sink and your face to look older. This can affect the way you chew and speak. And it places unusual stress on your teeth and the tissues in your mouth, by forcing them to compensate for the extra space.
Luckily, bridges can easily fill in these compromising gaps. Your dentist will help you decide which type of bridge is more appropriate for you. If you need extensive bridgework, your dentist may also refer you to a prosthodontist, a dentist who specializes in restoring natural teeth and replacing missing teeth.
After you’re fitted for a bridge, it’s very important to keep your remaining teeth healthy. If you don’t, and the teeth or bone that holds the bridge in place become damaged by disease, the bridge can lose its support and cease fitting properly. To prevent this from happening, brush twice a day and floss regularly, being very careful to clean the areas under, around and between the bridge and your natural teeth. If you have difficulties reaching some areas of your mouth, purchase a dental floss threader or special brush to help. Above all, make sure you see your dentist for regular check-ups to ensure all goes well.
Remember, the ultimate success or failure of a fixed bridge depends on its foundation. Keep your gums and remaining teeth healthy – your dental health and your appearance (not to mention your smile) are well worth the effort!